The New IWC x The Collective Pilot’s Watch Chronograph “C.03”

In The Metal With The New IWC x The Collective Pilot’s Watch Chronograph “C.03”

Our friends at Collective Horology are going global with their latest limited edition.

By Josh Shanks

We first met the founders of Collective Horology, Asher Rapkin and Gabe Reilly, in late 2019. With initial support from our partner retailer Topper Jewelers, the Silicon Valley-based collector group was about to embark on its first limited edition: a Zenith Chronomaster El Primero, a.k.a. the C.01. Since that fateful day in Los Angeles, Collective Horology has gone on to collaborate with H. Moser & Cie., J.N. Shapiro, and Urwerk.

From its founding, membership in Collective Horology has been by application only. And while theoretically anyone could apply to become a member, the group was predominantly US-based. But with its latest limited edition, the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “C.03,” the group sets its sights on the United Kingdom, expanding membership opportunities to like-minded collectors in London.

Introducing The IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “C.03”

Inspired by a visit made by Collective Horology co-founder Gabe Reilly to the IWC Manufacture in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, the new Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “C.03” is a monochromatic take on the brand’s popular Pilot’s Chronograph 41.

“The ‘C.03’ is our love letter to IWC. With the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition ‘C.03,’ we’ve sought to create a watch that distills our favorite IWC era and model – the late 1990s and IW3706, the first Pilot’s Chronograph. This time and watch still live on in the hearts of collectors worldwide,” said Reilly in a press release. He continued: “The brand had an unapologetic swagger, a no-frills Swiss-German approach to design, and displayed serious watchmaking bonafides. With this project, we aimed to bottle that spirit and bring it into a modern context.”

Sized at 41mm and encased in stainless steel, the new Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “C.03” features subtle nods to some of Collective Horology’s favorite IWC design signatures of yesteryear. Most notably, the monochromatic dial, which, in the case of this limited edition, is matte black with white markers and indicators.

Furthermore, as Reilly said in the press release, Collective Horology takes its “love letter” to the next level by incorporating a German day disc – a nod to the Swiss-German heritage of IWC. Lastly, the watch features a black nickel-plated rotor visible via a sapphire crystal caseback.

Christian Knoop, IWC Creative Center Director, explained the thought process behind this collaboration: “From a personal and creative perspective, it has been a real pleasure collaborating with Collective. Starting from the concept to the final design, our numerous working sessions crafted this very special chronograph edition. The IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition ‘C.03’ is a reflection of IWC and Collective’s shared passion for pure design and love for detail.”

First Thoughts

Thanks to our friends at Collective Horology, we had a chance to go hands-on with the new Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “C.03.” As a fan of the Pilot’s Chronograph 41, this watch was right in my wheelhouse. Once I had it on my wrist, I understood what the fuss was about.

Previous iterations of the Pilot’s Chronograph 41 featured starburst blue or green dials. Whereas the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph “C.03” throws the color palette playbook out the window. It is a refreshing yet vintage-inspired take on an IWC Pilot that exudes equal parts vintage and modern vibes wrapped in a singular 41mm reference.

As elder-millennial (yes, that’s a thing) collectors mature into the hobby, we demand something different from brands, and what worked for Gen X doesn’t always resonate with our crowd. Hence why the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph “C.03” is particularly well-suited for us ‘80s and ‘90s babies.

Powered by IWC’s manufacture calibre 69385 and boasting 46 hours of power reserve, the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “C.03” features the newest tech from IWC’s Manufakturzentrum. What’s more, the watch is 14.5mm thin which is far slimmer than IWC’s offerings introduced prior to the Pilot’s Chronograph 41.

Pricing & Availability

The IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “C.03” is limited to just 125 pieces and priced at $7,150. The watch comes fitted with a textured black calfskin leather strip and a matching IWC clasp. The watch is available to new and existing members of Collective Horology.

Learn more about Collective Horology via their website.

(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)

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